The Fresh Loaf

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Mushroom focaccia

jl's picture
jl

Mushroom focaccia

I came across this recipe in Daniel Leader's Local Breads. He mentions it being one of the most memorable meals on his trip to Altamura. As is customary in the region, it's made from durum flour and the overall formula is pretty simple: 100% durum flour, 82% water, 3% salt. It's topped with porcini mushrooms. Leader suggests using a mix of dried porcinis and fresh cremini mushrooms, because porcinis can be hard to find in the US.

Well, it's mushroom season here in Finland and porcinis seem to be quite abundant.

Most of them are by now too large and gnarly to be useful, but it's still possible to find nice ones. Leader suggests frying them in olive oil with garlic and thyme.

I was absolutely certain I had some durum flour somewhere in the cupboard, but when it was time to mix the leaven, I couldn't find any. There's no way I'm driving around late at night looking for durum flour, so this will have to be plain AP.

The great thing about focaccia is there's no need to worry about oven spring. I usually try to feel the dough as it's fermenting and proofing, but I didn't touch this once apart from a few folds. The only problem was stretching it to fit the baking sheet. It's surprisingly elastic for a soupy dough.

I briefly considered baking it on the steel, but Leader suggests just putting the sheet in the middle rack and baking at 440 F. 

I'm not overly disappointed, but it was a little plain for my taste. I wonder if the real version made with durum would have been tastier.

There's a recipe for potato bread with roasted onions in Hamelman's book. I think I'll try making that with mushrooms next.

 

 

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

I love the idea of a mushroom focaccia.  I wonder if you could amp up the mushroom flavour by using some dried mushroom such as shiitakes and use at least some of the mushroom water as the hydration for the focaccia.

Benny

jl's picture
jl

Porcinis are great, but I'd like some more umami. I've got plenty of dried porcinis, but they would only amplify the nuttiness, I think. Shiitakes would be exactly the thing, but I don't have easy access to dried ones any more. Besides, it would be much cooler to harvest and dry something on my own.

Hamelman has an anchovy fougasse recipe I've been meaning to try. I think that might make a great focaccia topped with mushrooms.

Dan_In_Sydney's picture
Dan_In_Sydney

Funny, isn't it - porcinis are uncommon around me (and expensive when found) but I can get as much dried shiitake as I want quite cheaply and fresh nearly as readily.

Pros and cons, really - plenty of Asian grocery stores about but no decent bakery options. Even the local chain bakery ended up replaced by a Asian-style chain, which is really not to my liking.

I was actually considering making a focaccia but, honestly, I've always shied away from the fat content. The way I see it, I'd rather make a very thin, lean pizza base and top with cheese (and mushrooms). Actually . . . I have a strange feeling that there might be a stroll up to the local manoushe (change spelling to taste) joint for a mushroom and triple-cheese manoushe.

jl's picture
jl

tarte flambée can be topped with mushrooms as well. 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Envious. I haven't seen porcinis mushrooms growing wild. I don't know enough about mushroom picking to identify the edible ones. We have Italian neighbours that go mushroom picking and know what they are doing. I can buy a wide variety locally and am happy with that. I frequently use them on pizza and focaccia. I love the wild mushroom scene. 

Cheers.

Dan_In_Sydney's picture
Dan_In_Sydney

Hang on - there's a 'wild mushroom scene'?

jl's picture
jl

Then go to the woods and try to find that. Bring some good food with you and have a picnic. If you don't find any mushrooms, you'll still have a good time that way.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Great idea. They also make their own vino and grappa. Big day out.